Arse­nal, Ozil to hold talks

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSE­NAL are poised for crunch talks with Me­sut Ozil which will de­ter­mine if he is go­ing to sign a new con­tract to re­main at The Emi­rates. The Ger­man in­ter­na­tional still has two years left to run on his £140,000 a week deal and is de­mand­ing a sub­stan­tial in­crease to com­mit him­self to a new deal. The Gun­ners have been mak­ing progress with talks but they are now en­ter­ing a crit­i­cal stage with Manch­ester United re­ported to be wait­ing in the wings. Ozil has been in bril­liant form for Arse­nal this sea­son and talks which are ad­vanced are poised to re­sume af­ter this in­ter­na­tional break. Arsene Wenger has been chip­ping away with Hec­tor Bel­lerin the lat­est of his squad to put pen to pa­per on a new con­tract. Wenger wants Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to both stay at the club with his side fi­nally look­ing like they could land their first Pre­mier League crown since 2004. The prob­lem that they have got is that they are have far less money to spend than many of their Pre­mier League ri­vals and need to do things within a bud­get. It means that they strug­gle to meet the de­mands of play­ers like Ozil and Sanchez who are be­lieved to be look­ing for be­tween £200,000 and £250,000 a week. BORUS­SIA DORT­MUND are re­port­edly ready to of­fer Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan a swift re­turn to the club in Jan­uary. Manch­ester United paid Dort­mund £26.7m to sign Mkhi­taryan in the sum­mer. He ar­rived in Eng­land highly-re­garded af­ter emerg­ing as one of the Bun­desli-

ga’s best play­ers in re­cent sea­sons. But the Ar­me­nian play­maker is yet to make any kind of an im­pact un­der Jose Mour­inho at Old Traf­ford. He has not started a sin­gle match since suf­fer­ing a thigh in­jury in Septem­ber’s Manch­ester derby de­feat. And, ac­cord­ing to the Sun­day Peo­ple, Dort­mund could of­fer Mkhi­taryan some re­spite from his Pre­mier League night­mare when the trans­fer win­dow re­opens in the new year. The Dort­mund hi­er­ar­chy are said to have been shocked by his fail­ure to hit the ground run­ning with United. BAS­TIAN SCH­WE­IN­STEIGER’S (pix) is inch­ing closer to wak­ing up from his Manch­ester United night­mare af­ter he was spot­ted meet­ing with MLS chiefs. The Ger­man World Cup win­ner joined the Red Devils from Bay­ern Mu­nich in 2015 as part of for­mer man­ager Louis van Gaal’s mid­field re­con­struc­tion, which also in­cluded the ar­rival of Southamp­ton’s Mor­gan Sch­nei­der­lin. How­ever, af­ter an in­jurys­tricken first sea­son in Eng­land, where he only fea­tured 15 times in the Pre­mier League, Sch­we­in­steiger found him­self ex­iled to train with the un­der­23s un­der new boss Jose Mour­inho. Mour­inho made it clear the 32-year-old had no fu­ture with the club, de­spite bring­ing the Ger­man back into the first-team train­ing squad re­cently – if only to en­sure he is fit enough to be signed by an­other club in Jan­uary. And that club looks cer­tain to be from the MLS, with Sch­we­in­steiger pho­tographed meet­ing Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic in a Manch­ester restau­rant. The pair held a four-hour lunch on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to

the Daily Ex­press. How­ever, the MLS club re­fused to con­firm the re­port but a spokesman did con­firm that Paunovic is trav­el­ling through Europe on a scout­ing trip at present. OLIVIER GIROUD could be of­fered a route out of Arse­nal in Jan­uary with Serie A duo AC Mi­lan and Napoli both in­ter­ested in the France striker. Napoli are still look­ing for a re­place­ment for Gon­zalo Higuain, whom they lost to Ju­ven­tus in the sum­mer, while Mi­lan are look­ing for an­other striker to boost their chances of re­turn­ing to the Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son, ac­cord­ing the Daily Mir­ror. Giroud has started only once this sea­son af­ter in­jury and an ex­tended break af­ter Euro 2016, but has seen Alexis Sanchez con­tinue as Arsene Wenger’s main striker de­spite his re­turn to fit­ness. The 30-year-old has only 18 months left on his Arse­nal deal and has pre­vi­ously vowed to stay and fight for his place back at the Emi­rates. How­ever, he has also given any po­ten­tial suit­ors hope by ad­mit­ting he is un­happy with the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion he finds him­self in with the Gun­ners. “I see my fu­ture at Arse­nal un­til the date my con­tract ends,” he said this week. “But I won’t lie, there have been times I’ve been dis­ap­pointed and not happy with my sit­u­a­tion. But the coach knows that. He’s the one who makes the choices. I’ll fight for my place.” GARY NEVILLE in­sists Manch­ester United must not fall into the trap of re­peat­edly sack­ing man­agers af­ter the short-term fail­ure of not mak­ing the top four. David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were both given their march­ing or­ders af­ter fail­ing to se­cure Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball, fin­ish­ing sev­enth and fifth re­spec­tively. Van Gaal’s suc­ces­sor Jose Mour­inho has come in for heavy crit­i­cism dur­ing his early months of his Old Traf­ford ten­ure af­ter manag­ing only two Pre­mier League wins since Au­gust and slump­ing to sixth place in the ta­ble. “It’s go­ing to take some time for United to get through this thing of sack­ing man­agers if they don’t come in fourth,” Neville told the Manch­ester Evening News. “They have to re­ally live with Mour­inho now and hope­fully it will work and he can get it right be­cause we need some sta­bil­ity there. I thought United would set­tle down quicker than they have with the new sign­ings, they haven’t – it looks like it’s still go­ing to be a bit painful. Mour­inho has al­ways been about pick­ing his best XI and he will de­liver the win. He has had to change it con­stantly and he doesn’t know his best team yet.”


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